New Delhi : Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra has resigned ahead of Sunday's cabinet reshuffle. Senior BJP leader Mishra, 77, said he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and gave his resignation. He claimed the Prime Minister told him that his performance in the ministry was good.
"So the question of non-performance does not arise in my case," he told the media. "When I completed 75 years, I told the leadership that they can take any decision about me...This time when I offered to resign, the Prime Minister got emotional," Mishra said.
Mishra said the Prime Minister told him that they will take a decision on how to utilise his capacity. Asked if it meant he would be made a Governor, Mishra said: "Whatever decision the central leadership takes, I will abide by it."
On Friday BJP chief Amit Shah had met PM Modi and the two leaders are understood to have finalised the changes in the council of ministers.
Arun Jaitley, who currently holds the charge of two heavyweight portfolios -- finance and defence, may retain only one, PTI reports said.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, seen as one of the more capable ministers, can be given more responsibility.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who had taken moral responsibility for a string of train accidents and indicated his willingness to resign, may be moved to another ministry, PTI sources claimed.
Other incumbents, including Steel Minister Birender Singh, may be moved to other ministries.
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, party's vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Prahlad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Satyapal Singh, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Anurag Thakur, Shobha Karandlaje, Maheish Girri and Prahlad Joshi are being talked about within the party as among the probable ministers.
Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha are seen among "good performers" in the government, a party leader said, adding that some of them can be elevated.
With the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) also likely to join the government, its leaders R C P Singh, who is its parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha, and Santosh Kumar are the likely picks from the new NDA constituent.
Reportedly, this will be last major recasting of PM Modi's council of ministers before the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019. This exercise is being seen as a balancing act between his thrust on merit and demands of realpolitik.